Mexico City Elevation Sickness - How to Prevent it and Treat it
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Are you worried about Mexico City Elevation and Altitude Sickness ?
If you are worried about getting altitude sickness in Mexico City, you’ve come to the right guide! I have been visited Mexico City for about a ten years, so I understand how difficult it can be to adjust to high altitudes. Altitude sickness feels very similar to the flu and can quickly ruin your vacation. That’s why I wrote this article – to share my experience and tips with you, so you can have an amazing trip to Mexico City without worrying about altitude sickness.
To prevent altitude sickness in Mexico City and stay healthy while traveling, it’s important to stay hydrated and filter your drinking water this is why I always this really great Brita Water Bottle with me. This article aims to provide tips on avoiding altitude sickness based on the author’s experience living in Mexico City for a year.
Are you at risk for Altitude Sickness in Mexico City?
To clarify, altitude sickness can affect anyone at a high elevation, including those who live in such areas. Therefore, it is recommended that anyone traveling to Mexico City bring altitude sickness medications and homeopathic remedies, which are detailed in this article.
Mexico City is located at an altitude of 7,350 feet (2240 meters) above sea level, which is even higher than Denver, Colorado. Denver is known as the “Mile High City” for being one mile above sea level, but Mexico City is about 1.5 miles above sea level, which is half a mile higher than Denver.
Mexico City is a city located at a high altitude in Mexico.
It is the eighth-highest capital city in the world.
The highest capital city is La Paz, Bolivia, which is at an elevation of 11,950 feet (3640 meters).
What is Mexico City Altitude Sickness?
Many travelers experience altitude sickness in Mexico City despite its altitude being just below 8,000 feet, the threshold at which altitude sickness becomes a risk according to WebMD. Altitude sickness occurs because the barometric pressure drops at higher altitudes resulting in less oxygen for breathing and potential dehydration and breathing difficulties.
Why do you suffer from Altitude Sickness in Mexico City
If you travel from a place with lower altitude to a place with higher altitude, like Mexico City, you may experience sickness because of the quick change in altitude. But it’s important to know that airplanes are pressurized to avoid your body from feeling the decrease in barometric pressure during the flight to Mexico City.
Although not everyone experiences altitude sickness symptoms while visiting Mexico City, it can be rather unpleasant for those who do. Sadly, I have been one of the unlucky ones . Let’s explore the common symptoms of altitude sickness.
What are the Symptoms of Mexico City Altitude Sickness
Please be advised that I am not a medical practitioner and the information I am about to share is not intended as medical advice. However, I can share with you some over-the-counter remedies that I or people I know have used to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness in Mexico City.
To alleviate altitude sickness in Mexico City, it is recommended that you remain hydrated by continuously drinking water from your refillable Filtered Water Bottle throughout the day. Additionally, you may use a “hydration multiplier” such as Liquid IV to supplement your water intake
While on vacation in Mexico, it’s okay to enjoy alcoholic drinks, but it’s important to keep in mind that they can exacerbate altitude sickness since they cause dehydration. If you intend to consume a lot of alcohol, it’s recommended that you supplement your hydration with extra electrolytes. To accomplish this, you can purchase Liquid IV before your trip to Mexico City. Liquid IV is a well-known hydration aid and hangover cure with over 70,000 positive reviews on Amazon that increases hydration by adding extra electrolytes to your water.
This situation can be unpleasant because consuming the delicious Mexico City tacos might cause you to feel nauseous or even vomit. If you start feeling nauseous, it’s best to quickly find a public bathroom.
You do a lot of walking in Mexico City as it is very walkable. While regular walking should be manageable, you may experience Mexico City altitude sickness, which can make you feel winded quickly, especially when climbing stairs.
One of the most common symptoms of altitude sickness is headaches. It is recommended to bring some of your preferred headache medication with you to alleviate this symptom. Having a good portable Filtered Water Bottle with you can help when you need to take some of those headache meds.
Breathing Easy in Places Situated at High Elevation
This article offers practical advice on how to acclimatize and prepare for living in and visiting higher elevation locations in Mexico, which are often different from what many people are used to.
Mexico’s high altitude mountainous terrains
It is common for cities in Mexico’s colonial heartland and southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas to have elevations ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level. Additionally, cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara are also situated at elevated locations.
To observe the Monarch Butterflies in their winter habitat in Mexico, it is important to be ready for the high altitudes in the wooded mountains. Correspondingly, if you plan to visit the elevated locations in Mexico’s Copper Canyon, you should also make necessary adjustments.
How to Adjust when at higher elevations
When people come to Mexico from places near sea-level, which are usually only a few hundred feet above sea level, they may feel short of breath when visiting inland towns or cities due to the thinner air. It may take some time for their bodies to adjust to the change in altitude.
For instance, Mexico City is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and two volcanoes, and is elevated 7,200 feet above sea level, which is approximately a mile and a half high. The combination of high altitude, heat, and pollution can make you feel uncomfortable and drained, even after a regular day’s activities compared to what you do in your hometown.
If you’re not used to higher elevations, the heat and altitude during summer months in Mexico’s provinces might make you feel more tired than usual. Although these areas don’t suffer from smog like bigger cities such as Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Tokyo do.
People adjusting to higher elevation commonly experience symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness or nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and shortness of breath.
The Pros of living at elevation in Mexico
Living at high altitudes has some advantages. The cooler climate is more temperate, especially when compared to the hot, humid weather on the coasts during the summer months. In fall and winter, mornings and evenings can be refreshingly chilly in some areas, providing a pleasant contrast to the warmer afternoons and hot summers.
Helpful tips to acclimate at high elevation
It takes time for your body to adjust to higher altitudes, but with adequate rest and hydration, your body will adapt quickly. Here are some useful tips:
Dont Push Yourself and Take it Easy
For the first few days, it is advisable to avoid planning too many activities and allow your body to adjust to the altitude and reduced oxygen levels. Taking a short nap or resting in the afternoon can be helpful.
Drink lots of fresh water
It is recommended to drink two liters of water per day at high elevations, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s best to drink water in small amounts throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. This is why we recommend buying this Water Bottle from Britta on your trip to Mexico.
Protect Yourself from the sun
It is important to wear a sun-hat and use protective sun lotion, even during fall and winter when it’s cooler. Remember to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays even on cloudy days as the UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.
Be Careful with your alcohol
Drinking alcohol at high elevations can make you feel its effects faster and for a longer time. Moreover, alcohol also causes dehydration. Therefore, it is advisable to reduce your regular alcohol consumption and drink extra water while consuming alcohol.
Things you Should to to Avoid and Treat Mexico City Altitude Sickness
1. Get a Filterable Water Bottle
One of the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Mexico is whether it’s safe to drink the water there. Unfortunately, the answer is no.It’s not advisable to drink tap water in Mexico as it is not safe for human consumption. Even the locals don’t drink it, and neither should you. It’s worth noting that dehydration is a common symptom of altitude sickness in Mexico City. WebMD recommends drinking 3-4 quarts (12-16 cups) of water every day, and since tap water in Mexico is not clean, you have three options:
For those visiting Mexico City for the first time, it’s important to know that there are many pharmacies located throughout the city. However, it’s unlikely that these pharmacies will have specific medications for altitude sickness. If you prefer natural remedies, consider bringing Anti- Nausea Patches and Liquid Chlorophyll drops with you on your trip since they are effective treatments for altitude sickness, but may not be easily found in Mexico City.
Things you Should to to Avoid and Treat Mexico City Altitude Sickness
1. Don’t Ignore Your Altitude Sickness Symptoms
If you experience symptoms due to Mexico City altitude, don’t worry too much as most people can manage them with over-the-counter medicines and water. But if you feel that your symptoms are severe and require medical attention, it’s essential that you seek professional help as soon as possible.
Mexico City has Pharmacies that have Doctors
In case you feel unwell while in Mexico City, you can use your maps app to find a nearby big chain pharmacy. You do not need any health insurance to visit one. Some recommended pharmacies in Mexico are:
Farmacia San Pablo
These pharmacies have doctors available on-site who can perform quick check-ups without requiring an appointment. The waiting time is usually short, and you can conveniently obtain any required medications at the same location.
👩⚕️ Mexico City Travel Tip: To communicate with the doctor, you can download the Google Translate app if you are not proficient in Spanish. The app allows you and the doctor to speak into your phone, and then translates and speaks the conversation back to both of you.
2. No Need to Bring along your Whole Medicine Cabinet
It is easy to find general medicines in Mexico, so there’s no need to pack an excessive amount of over-the-counter medications. However, if you prefer a specific brand, like Advil, be sure to bring it with you. While pain relief medications are widely available, it may be difficult to find a specific brand like Advil while traveling in Mexico City.
Mexico City Elevation FAQ
Is Mexico City safe for tourists?
Are you concerned about safety while traveling to Mexico City due to negative portrayals from the media? The answer is that for most travelers, it is safe to visit Mexico City.
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 CancunAirport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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